The bank holiday weekend saw a 3 day baseball tournament take place in Kent with teams drawn from all over the UK battling for the title in an event dubbed the ‘Battle of Britain’.
Competing alongside Scotland and Ireland were also teams representing Kent, the Midlands, the North of England, the British Baseball League and our own South West Baseball League.
The South West team like the other teams was made up of All-Stars chosen from all the teams in the region, and alongside players from Plymouth, Cornwall, Newton Abbot, Cardiff, Bristol, Taunton, Yeovil and Exeter was Daniel Kirby-James from the Weston Jets.
The South West team won 3 of it’s 4 games on day 1 and after a loss to Scotland on day 2 faced the North of England team for a place in the final. The SWBL raced into an early 7-0 lead, with Kirby-James, the Jets regular centre fielder, playing in an unfamiliar position at second base, contributing with a great double hit which brought in 2 runs. The North was unable to make a comeback and the game finished 7-0 a result that saw the South West progress to the final on day 3.
The opponents for the SWBL in the final were Scotland, but it was the South West who took an early 2-1 lead putting the favourites on the back foot. Gradually however Scotland fought their way back into the game and by the 4th inning led 3 runs to 2. By the end of the 5th inning the score was 5-3 to Scotland and with no further runs scored the tournament ended with Scotland being crowned champions.
Daniel Kirby-James was full of praise for his teammates afterwards; “We competed strongly in every game but Scotland were just too strong and deserved the win in the end after the baseball they played over all 3 days. Representing the South West though is easily the pinnacle of my sporting career” and he and his team did themselves and their clubs and the region proud.